Family of Wasco veteran working to honor his memory and service

Wasco Memorial Park Cemetery honors veterans

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The family of a Wasco soldier is fighting to include his name on the list that honors service men and women.  The names are read annually during a special Memorial Day ceremony.

“He deserves to be honored just like everyone else,” said Abbigail Maygar, daughter of John Simpson.

His family says it’s been a long process getting his name on the Wasco Veteran’s Memorial Wall.

"It was very important to us.  He was our father," she said.

Simpson, a navy veteran died in 2001.  His children have spent the last two years fighting to get his name on wall.

“He was born and raised here, never left except when he went to the navy," she said.

Now, they want his name added to the annual newspaper publication that lists all area veterans and are later read out loud during a Memorial Day ceremony.

"It's just a battle. We've been telling everybody, we want to put it in. They promised we will get in there next year, we promise you that, we will read the names off and it's been the same story every single year," said John Raymond Simpson.

Simpson's son says he's made phone calls, written letters and have sent e-mails to organizers of the event and has had no luck.

"My dad, he's a World War II veteran and we believe he does earn this after serving our country and he earned his right to be on the wall and to be heard," he said.

23ABC spoke with officials at the Wasco Memorial Park Cemetery where the memorial is located.  They say the list of soldiers published and read are of service men and women who are buried there.  John Simpson was buried at sea. 

"I feel sad, kind of disappointed. I mean, we have someone who fought for our country and kind of a shame for them to do something like that," he said.

Simpson's children plan to attend this year's Memorial Day ceremony and pray their father's name will be called.

"It could be this year,” said Maygar.

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